The US Congress passed the Democrats’ health care and climate bill in what could be considered the most significant legislative success of his first term. Democrats hope that the $430 billion bill will help them maintain control of Congress in November midterm elections.
The bill passed 220-207 on Friday and includes $375 billion to incentivize change from fossil fuel, as well as $64 billion to help people pay for their health insurance premiums. The bill was substantially less ambitious than the party’s initial expectations, but was seen as a sizable achievement given the party’s narrow majority in the National Assembly. The bill will now be signed by US President Joe Biden.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, said: “Today is a day of celebration, a day when we take another important step on our important agenda.” The measure “meets the right timing, ensuring that our families thrive and our planet survives,” she said.
Democrats hope for a string of recent legislative victories, compounded by voter frustration with the Supreme Court’s nullification decision. abortion rights and an increasingly right-wing Republican Party, would reinforce Biden’s low popularity and demonstrate that the Democrats can deliver victory to their agenda.
Republicans opposed the bill in the House and Senate, where invoice passed on Sunday with Vice President Kamala Harris voting for a breakthrough.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of the Republican Party said: “Democrats, more than any other majority in history, are addicted to spending other people’s money, regardless of what we are as a nation. can afford it”. “I can almost see the joy in their eyes.”
Today, the American people have won. Special benefits are lost.
With the passage of the House Inflation Reduction Act, families will see lower prescription drug prices, lower healthcare costs, and lower energy costs. I look forward to signing it into law next week.
– President Biden (@POTUS) August 12, 2022
The bill is a sign that Democrats have been forced to mitigate their agenda due to opposition from more conservative members of their party: Biden’s original proposal would spend $3.5 trillion over 10 years and include free preschool, family leave and medical paid economy, and expanded Medicare benefits.
However, with the US Senate divided between, Senator Joe Manchin from West Virginia used its considerable leverage to cut the bill, saying it was too expensive. Manchin has received significant political contributions from the fossil fuel industry and has been criticized for obstructing Biden’s agenda.
Negotiations between Manchin and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer appeared to have stalled until the two unexpectedly announced a bargain last month on a new product package.
The current bill is still considered significantly more ambitious than any previous legislation when it comes to cutting emissions and fighting climate change. The bill includes more than $370 billion over 10 years to encourage industry and consumers to shift away from carbon emissions to cleaner forms of energy, as well as $4 billion to help the Western United States cope with severe drought.
The bill uses spending, tax credits and loans to support technology like Solar power panelshome energy efficiency and air pollution control for farms, harbors and low-income communities, among others.
Health care is another major focus of the bill, with $64 billion to help 13 million people cover the costs of paying for private health insurance over the next three years. Medicare, a government health insurance program for people 65 and older, will have the ability to negotiate prices for certain drugs and some prescription costs for drugs like insulin will be limited.
The law is expected to raise revenue by about $740 billion over the next 10 years by increasing taxes on some $1 billion corporations, hitting stock buybacks, and enforcing tight taxes. than the rich. Proponents of the bill say falling drug prices stemming from Medicare’s bargaining power would also contribute hundreds of billions of dollars in savings.
Republicans have seized on spending to boost the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and have made a false claim that 87,000 new IRS employees will target the average family. There are no plans to add that number of agents – the money in the bill is set aside to hire agents to replace the estimated 50,000 people who are estimated to be eligible for retirement over the next five years, as well as to upgrade technology and operations.
The Republicans’ false claims appear to be a scare tactic ahead of the congressional midterm elections in November.
US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen also instructed the IRS to focus enforcement efforts on homes and businesses earning more than $400,000 a year.
Although Democrats have named the bill the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), analysts doubt it will have a noticeable impact. About the price.
Democrats are hoping the bill, along with other recent successes, will help them in the midterm elections, when the ruling party has traditionally been outnumbered by the opposition.
Several other legislative successes have made Democrats feel more optimistic that they can beat the odds. Those victories included the passage of a bill that would boost the United States semiconductor manufacturinganother extended health care and disability benefits expose veterans to toxic “burning pits,” and a gun control receipt.